The sawtooth sunflower is our nod to the familiar sunflower but with a native twist. It’s not that we don’t love the classic sunflower with its big, single blooming flower that can grow so large that the stalk can’t support the weight! Sunflowers have always seemed to be a type of measuring stick for the summer with its single impressive stalk growing taller and taller in such a way that we could put a ruler up next to it to measure how much of the summer we have left. By the time it fully blooms, we have to make sure to soak up those last bits of summer because autumn is fast approaching. Maybe this is what draws us to the sunflower, all this anticipation, time flying right past us, and then a beautiful, never disappointing bloom. Like the perfect summer of your childhood, all wrapped up in a flower.
All of these elements of sunflowers are what makes us want to share this native species with you in the hopes that you fall in love with it too. The sawtooth sunflower is the more wild relative of the cultivated sunflower. Because it’s wild, it blooms multiple, less showy, flowers on the same stalk. It also is much hardier, and a lot less demanding on the earth and the gardener. While the cultivated sunflower demands attention, the sawtooth just happily does its thing all summer long, and even if you miss a few watering days, it won’t mind. It is also no slouch; the sawtooth sunflower is known to grow up to 12’ tall, and its multiple blooming flowers are much more attractive to pollinators than its cultivated counterpart. So we hope you appreciate this sunflower as it grows, and measure your summer by the height of the sawtooth sunflower.
The sawtooth sunflower craves full sunshine as the name aptly suggests. Plant them in the late spring.